Tori White

Tori White, of Enterprise, poses for a photo with her daughter, Kinleigh. White tested positive for COVID-19 June 5 after a visit from her mother. White said she was told to get tested after her mom returned home to Washington state and tested positive.

ENTERPRISE — When Tori White found out she had tested positive for COVID-19, she didn’t believe it at first.

White, 27, of Enterprise, tested positive June 5 for the virus after a visit from her mother. White said she was told to get tested after her mom returned home to Washington state and tested positive.

“When my mom called me and told me she tested positive, I was like, ‘I’m not gonna have it. I feel fine,’” White said. “Even my boss was like, ‘Yeah, you’re probably gonna come back negative.’ And we were shocked when it came back positive.”

White, who quarantined herself for two weeks following the diagnosis, said that her mother was alerted by the Oregon Health Authority that she had come in contact with the virus, prompting the initial positive test for her mom.

The dominos slowly fell after that first call.

“During her visit, she felt fine and I felt fine, and then she left and on her way back, she got a call from OHA saying that one of her techs that she had recently worked with — because she did a sleep study, because she has muscular dystrophy — tested positive for COVID,” she said. “They did a test on her and it came back positive. And then she called me right away, and I went and got tested that day, and the next day I found out that I was positive as well.”

Despite not having any symptoms during her test, she did develop extreme fatigue, body aches, leg cramping and the loss of smell and taste. White said compared to how the virus has affected others, her case was mild.

“My lungs hurt just a teenie bit, but that was it,” she said. “I never even got a cough and I never even got a fever.”

White, who has lived in Wallowa County since she was 15, said her symptoms started about five or six days after her positive test result, and lasted for the rest of the time she was in quarantine.

“So I had already had it for five or six days at that point, and I didn’t feel any symptoms or anything, except that night is when it hit me,” she said. “My legs started cramping really, really bad to the point where I just wanted to cry. I was just rubbing my thighs up and down with my hands, so I didn’t know what to do. And then the next day I just felt very tired and I could barely keep my eyes open. And then I just slept. The whole time that I had it, I just was sleeping all day, all night long with no problem. I was just so tired.”

During her quarantine, White said she was frequently in touch with someone from the state health authority who would check in with her and make sure she was doing alright.

“He was letting me text him with questions,” White said.

Being in quarantine also meant being away from her daughter, Kinleigh. White said the 3-year-old stayed with her father in Joseph and had been out of the house prior to White’s visit from her mother.

“I couldn’t see her for three weeks and that was really hard,” White said. “I couldn’t see anybody. I had a lot of people calling me and texting me, and some people were really supportive and some people weren’t to be honest.”

White said her employer, Wallowa Valley Center for Wellness, was extremely supportive of her while being quarantined.

“My boss was texting me like every day, asking me if I needed anything,” she said. “You know, just saying really nice things to me the whole time.”

White said her family, including her sister, who lives in La Grande, dropped off groceries outside her front door twice while she was quarantined.

After being just one of a handful of individuals in Wallowa County to contract the virus, White said her advice to anyone else wondering about COVID-19 is pretty straightforward.

“Well, I just tell people that my case was really minor. I tell them information that OHA told me. And I told them that if they have questions they should call OHA,” she said. “I had people texting me, like, ‘Hey, sorry to bother you. But like, I’m having these symptoms. Can you tell me your symptoms and what do you think I should do? I’m just worried.’ And I always tell them, if you’re worried, just go get tested. It’s really fast and simple.”

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